Exactly one year to the day after Agnieszka Radwanska hit 2013's shot of the year at the Sony Open, she nearly pulled off another jaw-dropping crowd pleaser in her quarterfinal against Dominika Cibulkova on Wednesday.
In the third set, Radwanska went for a no-look defensive scoop to keep herself in the point. You can actually see Radwanska consider which shot to hit as she tracks the ball down, possibly changing her grip for a backhand slice, but the ball kept carrying. "I think with the wind, you can see a shot like that," Radwanska said. "It was no choice though. I was trying to do whatever I could to hit that ball in, and so then it was like that."
Her anticipation nearly stole the point, but if there's one thing that can throw even the most crafty of players, it's the unexpected netcord. As Cibulkova set up for a volley into the open court, Radwanska chased to cover it and looked like she had it until the ball hit the netcord and bounced away from her. You can hear Radwanska yell in frustration. Somehow, only she could believe in her heart of hearts that she should have won this point.
Watch Radwanska's all-court game flow here:
And as if we need a reminder, here's her 2013 hot shot from last year's tournament against Kirsten Flipkens. Just your standard no-look-360 spin-falling backwards-reflex-backhand-volley winner. The video has over 3.4 million views, which makes it one of the most viewed tennis shots on YouTube.
http://youtu.be/i8KvrhP1DtE "It was all so fast, it was really just one second to react," Radwanska said after last year's match. "The ball hit the net cord and changed direction and I couldn't play a normal backhand, so I just turned around and did it. It was a bit of luck but I had no choice - I just put my racquet on it and that was it! It was pretty funny."